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Development is not an island

Work Is Not an Island pt. 2: Development

Why Managers Need Workfront to Stay Connected with Developers

Developers are some of the most creative, innovative assets in any company. Not only do they solve complex challenges and tasks every day that help our systems run smoother and with eye-catching flair, but developers also have created their own particular methodologies to cultivate and manage their creative processes. From this world of so-called “agile software development” has come an unprecedented burst of imagination and progress; indeed, armed with Scrum and other leading agile software development methodologies, the developer community has mastered the ability to unite a development team whose members might be scattered literally across the globe–and to agree upon clearly defined hierarchies and processes that guide and, in many ways, dictate workflow. Among the most popular of these agile software development platforms are JIRA, Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS), and Rally.

The challenge is that agile software development processes have become so sophisticated and specialized that the average company manager – or any outsider, really – struggles to draw meaningful information from these highly evolved systems. Indeed, the systems are so evolved that they’ve become separate, disconnected systems with minimal visibility to the rest of the organization. And with these persistent knowledge gaps, business managers are not able to effectively monitor, track, or even understand the work being done by their development team.

Workfront, a fully integrated enterprise work management platform, has offered countless Simplus clients the ideal solution for this pervasive, universal problem. With Workfront, our seasoned pros have been able to meaningfully connect companies to the wide variety of agile software development solutions — from JIRA to Rally — that the company’s developers already use in their daily work. Our Workfront experts here at Simplus have succeeded at, among other things, setting up two-way automated synchronization, configuring mappings for various data attributes, synchronizing attributes in desired directions, and set up filtered triggers.

Project managers need to be able to assign tasks to developers and manage these projects in a central place. By connecting agile software development platforms to Workfront, managers can view all of this information alongside – and in the exact same reporting format as – projects from other divisions of the company.

 

The end result is that project managers have the power to glean accessible, real-time updates for a project and, just as significantly, managers are able to delegate tasks by assigning work via a Workfront platform directly synced with the development team’s agile software interface. Here is a closer look at what our Workfront team here at Simplus has been able to do to integrate some of the leading agile software platforms into Workfront:

JIRA integration: A leading platform for organizing, assigning and tracking work in developer communities, JIRA can be integrated seamlessly into Workfront, allowing project managers to count on Workforce to create JIRA tickets and assign work to developers, who then receive and update the assignment in JIRA. Just as significantly, status changes and updates made by either the manager (in Workfront) or the developer (in JIRA) are automatically and continuously synced. Child objects (such as documents, notes, updates and hours spent on the project) can be automatically mapped and synced under the parent.

TFS integration: For development teams that use Team Foundation Server – a popular Microsoft interface that can track and manage the entire development lifecycle – our Simplus experts have been able to seamlessly merge it with Workfront, allowing each user to work inside the platform that is most appropriately tailored to their needs. Through the power of continuous two-way synchronization, developers can enter their work, notes, and updates in TFS; and project managers can assign work to and receive updates from developers in Workfront.

Rally integration: Multiple other agile project management platforms, including Rally Software, can be integrated into Workfront. The experts who developed Workfront understood that the Workfront system would need to be designed to sync with platforms like Rally, an advantage that continues to prove its value to Workfront’s end-user community.

Project managers rely on their developers to deliver consistently spectacular applications and other products, but they also expect these creative geniuses to communicate status updates and progress in ways that are digestible and understandable outside the insular development community. A skilled Workfront expert, like the ones we have here at Simplus, are well-positioned to unify the development world with its project managers, creating invaluable connections that drive productivity and boost efficiency.

In the next installment of my “Work Is Not an Island” series, I’ll discuss how Workfront facilitates and improves product lines. If you missed my article introducing this series, please go back and read it here.

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